Is COVID-19 Creating A Nationwide Ammunition Shortage?

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago

Yes.

We’ve seen subtle signs of a panic buying here and there the past few weeks but it looks like the lid is about to blow off.

A reader from Arizona, Brent Stuart, tried to purchase two cases of pistol primers last week from Sportsman’s Warehouse in Phoenix, AZ, this afternoon and was told he could only purchase one case. The clerk at the counter told him there was a new corporate policy limiting the amounts of firearms, ammunition and reloading components purchased in a single day. According to the employee, he had received a copy of a memo from corporate headquarters that morning limiting firearm, reloading components and ammunition purchases temporarily.

Online ammunition retailer, Ammo.com, reports a significant increase in sales since February 23, 2020. The company believes that this surge corresponds with the public concern regarding the COVID-19 virus.

Online ammunition retailer, Ammo.com, reports a significant increase in sales since February 23, 2020. The company believes that this surge corresponds with the public concern regarding the COVID-19 virus.

When compared to the 11 days before February 23 (February 12 to 22), in the 11 days after (February 23 to March 4), Ammo.com’sber of transactions increased 68%.

Alex Horsman, the marketing manager at Ammo.com, said of the surge, “We know certain things impact ammo sales, mostly political events or economic instability when people feel their rights may end up infringed, but this is our first experience with a virus leading to such a boost in sales.”

We queried another big box store, Cabela’s and Bass Pro-Shops, who reported that ammunition is selling at a record pace. Week to date tallies for Herter’s 9mm 115-grain FMJ ammunition is 5,589 boxes. That’s 279,450 rounds and it’s not even Saturday. Month to date sales are 40,152 boxes for 2,007,600 rounds and we are not even halfway through March for just that one type and brand of 9mm ammo.

In my little neck of the woods, the shelves at Academy Sports are bare.  There is nothing on them.  The same holds at Cabela’s.  I suspect that even in normal times it would take months to recover inventory.  With the upcoming election cycle, these aren’t normal times.


Comments

  1. On March 24, 2020 at 1:39 am, Beans said:

    Maybe. But I’m guessing that it is a number of democratic-held areas declaring they won’t be enforcing the laws while emptying out the jails.

    Suddenly… the leftists are concerned about personal protection.

    Who knows, maybe there will be a raft of political conversions from this. Some of the strongest conservatives I know are whackadoodle lefties who have had the truth hit them hard, sometimes literally.

  2. On March 24, 2020 at 8:23 am, Ned said:

    A week or so ago I followed a several day old email link to SG Ammo. Got a notice their site was closed and they were not accepting anymore orders due to excessive volume.

  3. On March 24, 2020 at 12:40 pm, Fred said:

    I’ll go with; no, on a technicality. Supply Demand Price Signal is creating a shortage in ammo. Ask anybody who is buying and they are more worried about the dot guv reaction to covid than they are about the virus. We knew prices would go back up, but I don’t like to lose sight of the primary cause, not the proximate trigger.

    News about covid had been on the wires for more than a month before the supply suddenly vanished. I know, I’ve been watching and not online, not according to “reports” but at stores. It wasn’t until the government decided to love everybody into a global depression that the run started. Of course america is a big place, some folks may have emptied shelves before they did here. So; no, covid is not the actual cause v proximate trigger, YMMV.

    I have three terms for everybody in the US Government, their banker masters, and those who used to claim to be for free markets, and these aren’t even 101 level terms, they are pre-introduction elementary school level economics; Supply, Demand, Price Signal.

    Enjoy your global depression, you deserve it.

    Case study: I have friends who were upset, because the news, that they already know is fake, told them to be upset, about an enterprising somebody who bought huge piles of hand sanitizer and jacked the prices sky high. But dot guv stepped in and required him to return it all to the retailer(s). Now, buying all the hand sanitizer and jacking the price seems wrong, even unfair, but, yes there is a but, perhaps as many as 100 million Americans who don’t use hand sanitizer now want/need it. (The number here is a swag, and DOESN’T MATTER unless you are a marxist who wants dot guv to control the means of production, so allow the illustration to play out please.)

    So, whatever the real number of new demand may be, the supplier(s) doesn’t know because all that supply went back on the shelves at the regular price. So, the supplier(s) didn’t get the clue of sharp demand increase through price signal. Remember this doesn’t happen in a lab, some greedy corporate ceo sees outrageous prices and jacks the production of hand sanitizer sky high, to match demand at the higher price point, because he’s a terrible person (according to marx), and massive amounts of new hand sanitizer that would have flooded the market AUTOMATICALLY meeting demand that the free market, ALL BY ITSELF, through the volition of real persons, will now be delayed by weeks if not months because daddy government interfered with Supply Demand Price Signal.

    So, although a price being temporarily disjointed hurts your feelings, now NOBODY will get hand sanitizer. And Lenin grins in his tomb.

    Now how do you feel without any hand sanitize for weeks and months? Perhaps the same government that interfered with supply can now interfere with demand and fix it. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

  4. On March 24, 2020 at 1:23 pm, Paul Scales said:

    Go on Armslist. See all that 308 for $1/round, 223 for $0.50/round?

    In my small town the people from out of town (the city I’m guessing) come in every truck day morning and buy up all the damn toilet paper. May they never make their money back.

  5. On March 24, 2020 at 5:13 pm, X said:

    Here ya go, kids!!! North Carolina sheriff suspends permits to buy pistols and CCW! Muh Constitution!!

    https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241467601.html

  6. On March 24, 2020 at 5:33 pm, Arthur Sido said:

    Prices are up and you have to jump on it quickly when something comes in stock. Even some of the more exotic rounds in 9mm and .223 are sold out and sell out again quickly when they are back in stock. I topped off my supplies plus a little more two weeks ago when stock was available and prices were not skyrocketing, and I am glad I did.

  7. On March 24, 2020 at 6:53 pm, June J said:

    Wish I had stocked up on reloading supplies. Went to the range with son in law week before last, now wish I had all those 9mm and 5.56 rounds back.

  8. On March 24, 2020 at 7:16 pm, Ned2 said:

    Anyone not stocked up with shitloads of ammo right now, or at any time over the last few decades, is frankly an idiot.

  9. On March 24, 2020 at 8:28 pm, PeanutButter said:

    I have a Tokarev pistol in 7.62×25, and thought I would easily find ammo for this unusual caliber, even in this month of shortages in the common calibers.

    Nope. Almost everything was sold out in the online places I usually look. I was surprised that even corrosive Combloc ammo 35 years old would be hard to find. We Americans are about as well armed as we’ve ever been. I hope that translates into more voters for the Second Amendment this fall.

    [Don’t worry about me; I’m ready in other ways. The 5K rounds in 5.56 I’ve been acquiring for years is handily available, as is the several thousand rounds in 7.62×39 and NATO 7.62 feeding a healthy choice in battle rifles. As was cheekily written in Louisiana after Katrina’s devastation, “Have ammo: need looters.”]

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This article is filed under the category(s) Ammunition and was published March 23rd, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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